It sounds like an interesting tale.
Man makes two records, bombs in U.S., goes to work on a construction site, a couple of copies reach South Africa where he becomes a legend, people track him down and tell him he is, he does a gig the night before U2 play for the first time in the country and gets more people turn up.
Imagine that feeling of being a huge hit somewhere and never knowing?
A girl at work went to that gig and tells me that when he came on stage and started singing, he broke down in tears because several thousand people sung it back at him, never having realised he was so loved. WHAT a feeling that must have been?
You may recognise the name from that David Holmes record: